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Meyer relying on Du Preez's experience

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer hopes Fourie du Preez can make an impact.

Springbok Coach Heyneke Meyer

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer hopes that Fourie du Preez can have the same sort of impact that Australian flank George Smith had this year. The World Cup winning scrumhalf returns to the Springbok squad for the Rugby Championships, but is only available for the Boks' three home fixtures.

Du Preez currently plays for Japanese club Suntory and was a surprise inclusion in the 30-man squad announced on Saturday.

The Springboks got their preparations underway in Johannesburg on Monday with the overseas based players joining early next week.

Meyer says he would have been stupid not to look at Du Preez when he became available.

"I believe that Fourie is a world class player. He has always been part of my plans right from the start, but unfortunately wasn't available. I have had a lot of discussions with Fourie and he is still very keen to play for his country and I believe that he is still one of the best scrumhalves in the world.

Meyer says that he needs to explore every option available to him.

"He is going to be available for five or six test matches. I don't want to be in a situation just before the World Cup where I don't know who the best scrumhalf is. If we just look at what a guy like George Smith meant to the Brumbies. He is still playing great rugby and made a huge difference".

He says that players abroad have shown they still have enormous value to add.

"With Francois Hougaard injured at this stage we are a little bit thin on nines. I also want to make sure that I take the best nine to the World Cup so this gives me the opportunity to look at Fourie".

The Springboks kick of their Rugby Championship campaign at the FNB Stadium against Argentina.